A Slice of Road Trip Playlist Shuffle Found Poem

Slice of LIfe
Part of Slice of Life by Two Writing Teachers Thanks for stopping by!

When I was about ten, my parents took us on a road trip out west. I spent a lot of time leaning against the blankets my mom bought in Mexico, reading Archie comics. I also had them play the same mixtape over and over. I remember the tape – called “Greatest hits Volume IV,” I believe. But I can only remember small snippets of the actual music. I Heard it through the Grapevine was on that mix, and Don’t Give Up by Peter Gabriel. I know if I could find that tape I’d remember the words to so many of the songs that I can’t even remember titles to right now!

I’ve always been a fan of music in the car. When I got my license and could finally drive independently, I put in my mixtapes, or the ones my friends made, and turned up the volume. I rolled down the window to the red Hyundai my parents let me take to school almost every day, and picked up my friends.

I still remember a summer drive through a warm New Jersey expressway. I was driving from my family beach vacation to pick up my boyfriend about an hour away so he could join the vacation. I don’t remember what music I played, but I remember the feeling of windows down, music on, and open road. Independence!

When my kids were little, I played music on the way to any destination; errands or road trips! Sometimes I played music to keep everyone awake and singing. Sometimes I played music to help lull children to sleep for a nap or even for actual bedtime. One morning I did the preschool drop off, and went to get a coffee while the baby slept soundly in his carseat. It wasn’t until after I drove away with my coffee that I realized that Laurie Berkner was still playing, and I was singing along. Those Laurie Berkner songs are catchy!

My road trip out west this summer has a different soundtrack. Playlists from my phone, or music my 18 year old chooses, or my boys request. (And sometimes a Dear Hank and John podcast, or a little bit of an audiobook.)

It’s a shame I can’t write while I drive, because as the music plays I start creating a found poem from some of the lines that stand out. I don’t remember my poems once I am done driving. But, I keep making them the next day on the road. I don’t think it’s the same when I’m sitting and thinking about it, but I can give it a try. Maybe you’ll recognize the songs.

She’s been everybody else’s girl, maybe one day she’ll be her own
you lie-lie-lie-lie-lied
where’s my apology?
So raise your glass if you are wrong


God sometimes you just don’t come through
Do you need a woman to look after you
I keep cruising
you outgrew me
Don’t you remember?


They’re watching my every sound
Have I the courage to change today?
You know I laugh too long
I like too much of you, when i’m gone


I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now

Oh, I wish I had a river I could skate away on
I’m not your friend or anything, damn
I know what I know, if you know what I mean


Oh no, don’t try to hustle me
We can’t afford to be innocent,

stand up and face the enemy
It’s a do or die situation, we will be invincible


Don’t worry about a thing
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right
Me, me, me, me, me, me, me, It needs to be about me

Cause I’m my own soulmate

That’s exactly how I feel
Don’t hide no emotions
Wear ’em on my sleeve 

Try it! Press shuffle on your songs, and collect some lines. What is your playlist shuffle poem?

1 thought on “A Slice of Road Trip Playlist Shuffle Found Poem

  1. Ooh! I love this. When I was little, the playlists were whatever the radio station of the moment would play. When I became a mom, it was often my children’s ages that determined the playlists. For youngest, it was Dora the Explorer for the longest time! LOL! I love the idea of using lines from songs to create a new poem or song. Thanks for sharing this.

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